In fact, while I meant that as a joke, there may be a fair amount of truth in that. Much like the whiteboard itself.
Living with John while he was dating was a test of memory. That's not a reflection on John, incidentally; I remember hearing the same endless stream of names and random tidbits when others of my friends were dating. I just tried harder to remember the ones John talked about, because I live here and it was more likely to impact my life. At some point, I suggested that we should hang a whiteboard and make a chart for the names and the significant facts and when he was seeing each of them. It would help me keep track, and it might even help him.
I was mostly joking. And so, when I was in Staples for something else, and looked at the whiteboards, it was still mostly a joke when I purchased one. I figured it would be good for a laugh, and then I could use it for my To Do list. And then, two days later, John hung up the phone exasperated and asked me when we were going to get the whiteboard. So I pulled it out, we hung it (with some help), and John put up his chart. We figured out what to do with it when one of those guys came to the apartment. The list changed almost daily, and I did, indeed, find it to be a great help in following the conversations.
Tuesday night, somewhere in the midst of my search for flashlight and candles and matches, I glanced at the board and discovered that it had been erased and said only "I GIVE UP!" I was somewhat concerned. Given John's undeniable talent for dramatic gestures, that could mean anything from "I give up on updating this stupid thing" to "I give up, life is too much for me." I suspected it was somewhere in between, and possibly that he might have been dumped again, since he was in bed already at 8:30. I asked about it when he appeared briefly a couple hours later, and was snapped at.
Wednesday, I came home to discover that the whiteboard had been removed from the wall, erased completely, and stuck in the closet. I rescued it, and started my To Do list. I didn't see John at all that day. Thursday I finally got some answers, by listening to his phone conversation with someone else. Apparently, it was "I give up on putting effort into dating people who don't put in any effort of their own" - which effectively means taking a break from dating for the time being. I really can't argue with the decision or the reasons, although it seemed to be a bit abrupt.
The funny part was another phone conversation he had - might've been still Thursday night, might've been Friday night - it's very late on Saturday as I write and I honestly can't remember if it was last night or the night before. Almost as soon as he answered the phone, I could tell from John's end of the conversation that it was one of the guys from the whiteboard on the other end. It was a very strained conversation. I didn't listen to every word, but I did hear John explaining the taking a break thing, as a concept and in this case. He had to repeat himself, and it was clear that the guy just was not getting it. If it had been a landline, I would have been tempted to pick up an extension and say "Dude, it's over, get over it." Finally, John said, "Um, no offense, but I would have to be really bored and not be able to reach at least half a dozen of my friends before I would call you." As you might imagine, that did manage to end the conversation.
So John appears in my doorway and said, "Well, I just got dumped again."
"Wait," I said, "he broke up with you?"
"Yeah, he said he didn't think we were seeing the same things in it..."
"But that was him breaking up with you. I could swear from listening to your end of the conversation that you were breaking up with him."
"He was really bad at it."
So, John is temporarily off the dating market, and my whiteboard is temporarily off the wall. It might go back in the hallway, or I might just find a place to hang it in my room, since it's my list. Whenever I get around to the dating thing, we'll put it back in the hall, and I can make a chart of my own.